Symptoms of Diabetes, the Top Six Plus One

The main symptoms of diabetes are the same for all diabetics. But one symptom is a giant red flag for type 2 diabetes. You need to know it.

The red flag is hypertension, and since nine out of ten diabetics are type 2, getting tested for hypertension and diabetes at the same time makes a lot of sense.

This is especially true since both conditions can exist for years without you being aware of them.

The Top Six Symptoms of Diabetes

About one out of ten new diabetics has type 1, and it shows up in children the most. Here are the symptoms of diabetes parents should watch for.

  1. The child acts thirsty all the time.
  2. He urinates a lot and wets the bed at night.
  3. There is weight loss even though he is eating.
  4. He shows a lot of unexplained tiredness and lack of energy.
  5. He complains of blurred vision and has trouble focusing.
  6. When you smell his breath there is a sweet or fruity smell to it.
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Where the Symptoms Come From

Those six symptoms of diabetes will also show up if you are a type 2 diabetic. Excessive thirst and urination are your reaction to the dumping of sugar through your kidneys.

Weight loss in spite of increased hunger and eating more is the result of insufficient insulin to cope with getting glucose (sugar) into your cells.

In type 1 diabetes the problem is destroyed beta cells, and in type 2 diabetes it is usually caused by insulin resistance.

The lack of energy you feel is due to your muscle and brain cells not having the glucose they need.

Vision problems are caused by excess sugar build-up in your blood. As blood sugar rises too high or drops too low your vision blurs and you have trouble focusing. This comes and goes.

The fruity or sweet breath that comes with diabetes is caused by ketones, the proteins that are being broken down for energy because your cells have no available glucose to use.

Ketones show up in urine, and urine test strips were used by diabetics before blood glucose monitors were available to us. 

Symptom Seven

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the only one of the symptoms of diabetes that is a true red flag for prediabetes, insulin resistance, and type 2.  But you will not know you have it without being tested.

The symptom of high blood pressure can hide for years and go untreated.

So listen to your doctor, and if he says you have elevated blood pressure, get your blood sugar tested. Use the fasting blood sugar, or better yet the glucose tolerance test.

Doctors routinely check blood pressures, and it may soon become standard practice to check blood sugars as well if hypertension is found.

They are that closely connected, and experience shows that early detection of both will save you from complications.

We Need Early Detection

In India, where type 2 diabetes is growing at an alarming rate, recent surveys prove that hypertension goes along with high blood sugar.

They also found that a huge number of those screened and diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension were not aware they had either one.

When the testers looked for type 2 diabetes in people under 20, they found it in children as low as 10 years old. But India is not the only country worrying about type 2 diabetes.

The International Diabetes Federation is predicting one in ten adults will have diabetes in 2030. Knowing the symptoms of diabetes and their connection to hypertension is an issue that occupies the medical community of the entire world.

Other Symptoms and Warnings

If you have sores and cuts that are slow to heal, or if you feel numbness and tingling in your feet and fingers, those are warning signs that you may have become a type 2 diabetic.

Women with diabetes have more frequent yeast infections because diabetes encourages fungal infections.

That means if you notice persistent groin itching, that's actually a reason to get a fasting blood test.

Early Diagnosis Makes a Huge Difference

Doctors know that when they diagnose diabetes in you, you have most likely had the disease for a year or two at least. That means the extra blood sugar has been rushing around your veins and arteries for a while.

Someone described the excess glucose as tiny bits of glass flying through your veins making microscopic ruptures, damaging artery walls and causing friction.

The body's reaction to this is inflammation, your defense mechanism against harmful substances.

Learn more about blood testing for diabetes.

Inflammation causes a cascade of problems. Your body obstructs its arteries, and you develop high blood pressure.

Tiny blood vessels leak and die from blood sugar damage. Your fingers and toes tingle because nerves die from lack of blood flow. Your vision clouds.

So know the symptoms of diabetes, get your blood sugar tested and watch for warning signs. It will save you from so many of the results of long-term type 2 diabetes.

Also, if you know the top six symptoms of diabetes you might save a child from serious complications. 

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